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Doctors cite shortage, plans to see fewer patients

November 18 2008

A survey released today by The Physicians' Foundation found that 78% of doctors believe a shortage of primary care physicians exists in the U.S. today. It also found that 49% of doctors plan to reduce the number of patients they see or stop practicing entirely within the next three years.

"At a time when the new administration and new Congress are talking about ways to expand access to healthcare, the harsh reality is that there might not be enough doctors to handle the increased number of people who might want to see them if they get health insurance," said Dr. Walker Ray, VP of The Physicians' Foundation.

Frustrations for doctors, according to the survey, include increased time dealing with non-clinical paperwork, difficulty receiving reimbursement and government regulations.

The survey included responses from 12,000 doctors and was conducted by physician staffing firm Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, a division of AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (NYSE: AHS).

The Physicians' Foundation aims to advance physicians and was formed through the settlement of a class-action lawsuit brought by physicians and medical associations against third-party payors.

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